It’s early 2020, and we have been conducting a series of consumer trials across several popular audio products to evaluate the perception of Airsound vs regular stereo in a controlled and blind test. The test evaluates the effect of Airsound from a consumer’s perspective. Can people hear the difference? and, if they can hear the difference, do normal consumers prefer Airsound over normal stereo with all else being equal?

Several popular audio products were set up and carefully calibrated to produce the same volume, and hidden behind an acoustically transparent cloth. A group of 5 volunteers were brought in, and invited to hear the same short piece of music on 4 different units and asked to rate each one in terms of how much they liked the sound, and to make comments. The order of the units was different for each batch of listeners, and the test was repeated several times, and the results aggregated.

The purpose-built listening rig was fitted with an acoustically transparent cloth to visually hide all the units under test.

In addition, a simple shoot-out between an Airsound and non-Airsound version of the Roberts Stream 94i radio was arranged. Guests were invited to turn each one up and down to compare them when playing the same radio station.

The special room featured a one-way mirror, control room/observation gallery. Also pictured are 2 radios, one of which featuring Airsound as opposed to stereo.

The Results

With the main listening test, there were 5 units in total, which ranked as follows:

UnitScore
Roberts Stream 67 (Airsound)83%
Bose Sound Touch 3072%
Roberts Stream 67 (Standard Stereo)66%
Sonos Playbar65%
JBL Charge54%

The Roberts Stream 67 performed favourably but came second to the Bose Sound Touch 30. However, the Airsound version leaped into first place. Comments from the subjects who experienced the test included phrases like ‘it fills the room more’, ‘it sounds nicer’, ‘it’s an exciting sound’, ‘it sounds like you are there with the band’.

The Quick Shoot Out

Subjects were also invited to secretly vote for their favourite version of the Roberts Stream 94i (the UK’s most popular DAB/streaming radio). Airsound received an incredible 97.5% preference rate (with only 1 out of 40 people voting for the standard unit in a blind vote).

Conclusion

The results show that in a blind test, consumers prefer the sound of Airsound over left/right stereo in single box products. The study confirmed that the measured technical capabilities of Airsound are reflected in the consumers’ experience of audio – in a blind test, where the order of playback was random, and the audio product being played was hidden, Airsound proved a differentiating factor.

In short, consumers prefer Airsound.

Categories: Airsound